Rapid progress is being made in our ability to modify the aging process. Rather than serving as a period of debility and decreasing health, for many people, the later years of life are becoming a period of continued productivity, independence and good health. Progress is also being made in increasing average lifespan. The leading causes of death (cardiovascular disease, cancer, lung disease, diabetes) are the end result of decades-long processes. With current knowledge, it is possible to delay the onset of these diseases. This can be assisted by lifestyle choices incorporating healthful diet, exercise, stress management, and nutritional supplementation. Emerging genomics technology will allow individuals to establish personalized programs, while early detection of heart disease and cancer will contribute to longevity. Biotechnological therapies involving stem cells, recombinant DNA, proteomics, therapeutic cloning and gene-based therapies are expected to play major roles in promoting successful aging. We are at the threshold of artificial intelligence (AI) and nanotechnology (NT). AI will allow for a merging of our biological thinking with advanced forms of non-biological intelligence to vastly expand our ability to think, create and experience. NT will ultimately allow us to build devices able to build molecules much like our current cellular machinery does, one atom at a time. It is the goal of today’s antiaging medicine to forestall disease and aging long enough for people to utilize the powerful biotechnology and nanotechnology therapies that will be developed over the decades ahead. These future therapies have the potential to greatly extend longevity.
2005 by The Keio Journal of Medicine